Thursday, March 25, 2010
Dinner On Greenwich Avenue
A close friend of mine recently began working for a company based in Greenwich, Connecticut- joining the ranks of tolerant reverse commuters. I have always been curious about Greenwich (like most Manhattanites I have passing dreams of the greener pastures that accompany a suburban life), so I, along with another friend of ours, jumped on board when she threw out the idea of grabbing dinner at one of Greenwich Avenue's many restaurants.
We settled on Solaia Champagne House, a restaurant with an intimate setting, seasonal menu, and a boatload of champagne. Our meal began with complimentary fresh bread (cheese, wheat, and crusty white) with a peppery olive oil, and progressed to a cheese board holding five varieties of cheese, sugared almond slivers with a hint of orange, and unprocessed honey. After we finished our delicious starters, which in my opinion are quite difficult to get wrong, dinner took a turn for the worse. We were served entrées that were over-spiced and overcooked, and a dessert that one companion described as evoking the taste of "a dirty, wet dishtowel." While the food was a disappointment (I have realized I am beyond spoiled living and eating in Manhattan), the quaint atmosphere, good company, and new experience in a new city made dinner in Greenwich worthwhile.
A list of Solaia Champagne House's entrées
Each meal starts with three varieties of complimentary bread and olive oil
Honey goat cheese, gouda, pecorino tartufo, brillat savarin, parmigiano reggiano, slivered almonds and honey
The scallops were overcooked, but the roasted cauliflower and outstanding creamless "creamed" spinach (the creamy consistency comes from puréed cauliflower) were redeeming accompaniments
The homemade tagliatelle with ragu of veal, pork and beef was dominated by too much rosemary
The white beans with the heavily spiced, overcooked tuna were flavored with what appeared to be bac-o-bits, and the escarole was limp and slimy
The dirty, wet dishtowel flavored apple strudel with vanilla ice cream and fresh mint